Scouting report: DT Ramel Meekins

Outland Trophy nominee Meekins hopes that his ability and competitive spirit can help him transcend his size limitations and continue his college success in the NFL; the Colts wouldn't mind that either

Ramel Meekins DT Rutgers

Numbers: 5110/284, 5.07 forty, 2.87 twenty, 1.70 ten, 30 reps, 26 vertical, 8'4 long, 4.60 shuttle, 7.71 cone

2006 stats: 28 tackles, 40 assists, 13-60 tackle for loss, 8-46 sack, 1-0-0 fumble recovery, 5 forced fumbles

The Player: Watch Meekins play and you'll think he's a big star. He's a relentless wrestler inside who's explosive off the snap, scared of nothing and blessed with an excellent closing burst. Unlike most college linemen, he uses his hands well, and has the body lean of a top guard. Keep watching and you'll see why he was an Outland trophy candidate who racked up all kinds of honors and stats at Rutgers.

But keep watching the tape after the play. When Meekings goes back to join his teammates and they're all standing up, you'll notice that the top of his helmet lines up with the facemask bars of the other guys.

Meekins knows and understands football. He is a consummate competitor and an excellent technician. I've seen him do some unlikely things on the football field, but I have also seen him ridden out of plays with relative ease. He's small for his position even by college standards, but really doesn't have the skill-set to play anywhere else.

Reminds me of: James Reed, the undersized try-hard defensive tackle for the Chiefs. Reed probably shouldn't play as much as he does in K.C., but he can be very effective in short bursts. Meekins is a betterr tackler and hitter, though.

How he fits: The Colts specialize in undersized linemen and it seems to work for them, so Meekins should get a decent shot to show what he can do. While he lacks size, he has an abundance of everything else it takes to be a quality NFL player. He has a decent chance to make the team with a good summer, but he will have to fight for it. Barring injury, the Colts have starters Anthony McFarland and Raheem Brock as well as third-round pick Quinn Pitcock as givens for the roster So Meekins will have to duke it out with veterans Darrell Reid, Dan Klecko anf Tom Johnson, along with highly regarded rookie free agents Quintin Echols and Ed Johnson for a spot.

But a player with Meekins' skill and fire comes along quite rarely. The Colts would be wise to hang onto him, probably on the practice squad. Even if he never makes the team, his work habits and tenacity will make the players around him have to work harder.


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